The Kilaueas

Gremmy Awards 2018: Best Trad Surf Record

Gremmy Awards: Best Trad Surf Record 2018

Trad surf bands will happily fly the banner of being a surf band. Their albums are typically a simple selection of good, upbeat songs and are happy with that humble scope. It's not 100% cut-and-dry, and I'm bending my own rules on a few bands here, but these are records that make me happy to be a surf nut. And a side note: I'm including bands that might not strive for a California 60's sound but are otherwise retro-mimicking.

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Gremmy Awards 2018: Best Album Art

Best Album Art 2018

Surf has always had strong visual iconography attached to nudge how we interpret these instrumentals. We've built and expanded upon that just as we've transformed the music over the years. Here are some of the records where the art really stood out to me this year.

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The Kilaueas - Touch My Alien

The Kilaueas - Touch My Alien

Sometimes I worry that I lean a little too hard into the sound production quality of an album vs songwriting, but for a band with such apparent surf fanaticism as The Kilaueas it really does feel like it’s the missing piece. The guitar sounds so much bigger and deeper than their previous LP Waki Waki Woo, the reverb so wet and loud enough to fit their stage act.

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The Kilaueas and Surfer Joe release Play the Astronauts and More

The Kilaueas and Surfer Joe -  Play the Astronauts and More

Here's a fun project. This is a split LP between Surfer Joe and the Kilaueas, each taking a side on the vinyl version. Most of the tracks on here are covers of The Astronauts, and in a pretty faithful manner (no psychedelic Baja). The few originals are in the style of the Astronauts. For Surfer Joe, that means some deep-ass reverb -- that's the stuff! For the Kilaueas they added another guitarist to mimic the Astronauts' 3-guitar setup.

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